The bustylicious blonde swimsuit model who moonlighted as a newscaster
reported it was a carjacking: a desperate man driving a stolen sedan
leading a fleet of police down the 405,
while the helicopter above highlighted the high speed pursuit
as if spotlighting opening night at the Hollywood Bowl.

The Devil Rays were murdering the Angels so I switched to the news
hoping to catch tomorrow's forecast.
    That's what it's come to for me
    deciding on shorts or pants, tank top or polo.

I watched cheering him on,
as he weaved through the glowing lanes
like the sirens were merely shrill reminders guiding him
on the expressway to escape.

We weren't so different:
     him sweating in bucket seats in a car that's not his,
     me slouched into a La-Z-Boy in a life that's not really mine.

Part of me rooted for him to race far away from the chase,
     from the media,
     from this place into a world where the echoes of broken speed limits
     ring like casual conversation.

The other part wanted to see him plow head-on into another car
   jump out the window
         reach for a gun
               engage in a shootout
                   with blood and brains and guts
                        spilling all over the freeway
                              so I could be reminded of what it means

to be real.

But I didn't want to be let down yet again,
so I changed the channel back to the ballgame
where men in uniform follow rules enforced
by other men in uniform.
Because it usually ends that way:
the criminal slowly coming to a stop and getting out,
his conceding hands in the air,
his defeated face
    confiding in the ground.

Daniel Romo's recent poems can be found in Mipoesias, red lion sq., and Pemmican.  He is an MFA candidate at Antioch University and lives in Long Beach, CA.  His book of poetry Romancing Gravity is forthcoming from Pecan Grove Press.  More of his writing can be found at  An Act of Surrender was first published in Mipoesias.

The news televises many high speed pursuits here in Southern California. I enjoy watching them for various reasons.  Not all of those reasons are good.  Just once, I'd maybe even like them to get away.




Copyright 2009